Helps, Robert (Eugene)

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Helps, Robert (Eugene)

Helps, Robert (Eugene), American composer, pianist, and teacher; b. Passaic, N.J., Sept. 23, 1928. He attended the preparatory dept. of the Juilliard School of Music in N.Y. (1936–43), and then studied piano with Abby Whiteside and composition with Roger Sessions; he also took courses at Columbia Univ. (1947--49) and at the Univ. of Calif, at Berkeley (1949–51). After teaching piano at Stanford Univ. (1968–69), the San Francisco Cons, of Music (1968–70), the Univ. of Calif, at Berkeley (1969–70), the New England Cons, of Music in Boston (1970–72), the Manhattan School of Music (1972–78), and at Princeton Univ. (1972–78), he served as prof, of music at the Univ. of South Fla. in Tampa (from 1980). As a pianist, he acquired a fine reputation as an interpreter of modern music. He received various awards and commissions, and in 1966 held a Guggenheim fellowship. He developed a personal style of expression while utilizing 12-tone procedures.


ORCH.: Sym. (1955); Cortège (1963); 2 piano concertos (1969, 1976).CHAMBER: String Quartet (1951); Piano Trio (1957); Serenade in 3 parts: 1, Fantasy for Violin and Piano (1963), 2, Nocturne for String Quartet (1966), and 3, Postlude for Horn, Violin, and Piano (1965); Quintet for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano (1976); Second Thoughts for Flute (1978). piano:Fantasy (1952); 3 études (1956); Images (1957); Starscape (1958); Recollections (1959); Portrait (1960); Solo (1960); Saccade for 4-Hands (1967); Quartet (1971); 3 Homages (1973); Nocturne (1973); Music for the Left Hand (1974); Valse mirage (1977). VOCAL: 2 songs for Soprano and Piano (1950); The Running Sun for Soprano and Piano (1972); Gossamer Noons for Soprano and Orch. (1977).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire